Monday, 12 January 2015

Money Laundering: 2 Chinese Firms Use Names Of First Lady, Governors

In what can be likened to an ingenious method of money laundering, eight officials of two Abuja-based chinese firms, Sanju Sunny Nigeria Ltd and China Railway Engineering Nigeria Ltd, have used the names of First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, state governors and commissioners to launder millions of dollars under the guise of bribing them to execute projects in Nigeria.
The eight officials of the two firms (some of who are now at large) prepared cash vouchers for false returns to their parent companies in China between 2010 and 2013.
The errant officials are Geng Xiancheng, Cheng Qian, Tian Hui, Liu Zuzhi(at large), Ms Tian Xue (at large), Tian Wei (at large) Qin Fuhua (at large) and Li Pengtang (at large).
LEADERSHIP investigation further revealed that the errant officials of the two firms demanded millions of dollars and naira to bribe federal and state officials, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials and agencies to facilitate certain projects in Nigeria.
The modus operandi of these firms’ officials are novel. Apparently taking advantage of the reputation of Nigeria as country mired in widespread corruption, these officials would demand certain amount of money and a voucher would be prepared for the alleged non-existing beneficiaries, but the said amount would be wired to the personal accounts of some of these officials in India. They would then record the amounts in the firms’ account books as funds used to bribe certain government officials to facilitate phantom projects.
For instance, the bank record of Sanju Sunny Nigeria Ltd showed that $50,000 was purportedly used in bribing certain state officials from the South West to enable the state governor sign a bogus project, but the said $50, 000 was actually wired to the personal account of Li Pengtang (now at large) in China on August 27, 2103.
Documents sighted by LEADERSHIP further showed that the officials of the firms claimed that substantial millions of dollars and naira were purportedly used to bribe the First Lady, her personal assistant, governors from the South West, South East, South South, North East, North Central and North West.
The amounts recorded as bribes to elected governors and first lady are not only ridiculous but incredible. For example, a voucher claimed that $20,000 was given to a state governor in the South West to facilitate a project in the state while another voucher purportedly recorded that N150, 000 was paid for a governor from the North East as his travelling and accommodation expenses.
In another document sighted by LEADERSHIP, $20,000 was allegedly paid to Patience Jonathan and another $25,000 to her personal assistant to facilitate a certain non-existing federal project.
There was also a voucher which recorded that N2.7million was paid to certain officials from two states in South West and South South in order to enable their governors approve fake projects.
The development prompted a massive investigation by the operatives of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which discovered that the officials operated in Abuja and Abeokuta, Ogun State, while one of the suspects, Gen Xianchaeng, the manager of their Abuja office was arrested and has made statement in the matter.
A female suspect, Tian Xue, was said to have travelled back to China and might not return to Nigeria.
LEADERSHIP also gathered that three suspects, whose signatories featured in the vouchers, Tian Wei, Qin FuHua and Li Pengtang, had been sacked by the Indian firm and had returned to China.
It was further gathered that the EFCC had declared Liu Zuzhi and other suspects wanted over the matter
When contacted over the matter, EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development. He simply told LEADERSHIP last night that investigation was under way, but he would not give further details.

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